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ISLAMABAD: The Council of Common Interests (CCI) has clearly directed all provinces to adopt national standards formulated by Pakistan Standards & Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) to harmonise quality and standards of food items across the country.

In this regard, the Ministry of Inter Provincial Coordination has recently issued instructions to Chief Secretaries of all four provinces.

According to the directive of the Ministry of Inter Provincial Coordination, the decisions of the 44th meeting of the CCI were circulated to the Members and all concerned, vide this Secretariat's letter in terms of Rules 6, 11, and 12 of Rules of Procedure of CCI.

In response, the Federal Minister for IPC/Member CCI requested for correction in the decision at Para-75 in Case No.CCI.4/1/2021:- "The CCI decided that in order to further improve the Ease of Doing Business and harmonise quality and standards across the country, the provinces shall adopt national standards formulated by Pakistan Standards & Quality Control Authority (PSQCA). Labelling and certification marks logo shall also remain with Federal Government/PSQCA."

It was also decided that the registration of business for sale of food products, licensing of factory, establishment for foods products, enforcement and monitoring of food products shall remain with the provincial governments. It was further decided that the agenda stands implemented and shall not be placed before CCI regarding information of its implementation status, CCI modified decision said.

The Prime Minister, in his capacity as Chairman, CCI, has approved the above mentioned corrections in the decision, in terms of Rule 12 of the Rules of Procedure of the CCI 2010.

Accordingly, the CCI decision stands modified to the said extent. A corrected copy of the decision has been communicated for information, record and further necessary action by all concerned authorities, added Ministry of Inter Provincial Coordination.

When contacted, an official said that registration of business for sale of food products, licensing of factories, establishment for foods products, enforcement and monitoring of food products shall remain with the provincial governments. The decision would cover bakeries, restaurants, dealers, retailers, distributors, wholesalers and other food related outlets of packed foods etc.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021